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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffVideo-Cellar Date: Jun 13, 2008 11:45pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: If a british film is PD in the UK, and wasn't copyrighted in the US, Is it ok to upload?

Copyright in British films lasts for the life of the last surviving author plus 70 years. The authors are defined as the Producer, Cinematographer, Screen Writer, Music Composer and Director.

The only British films that are public domain in the US are films that were PD in Britain and USA before the URAA/GATT copyright restorations were made. So most British films made prior to 1945 that were PD in US prior to URAA/GATT are still public domain (this is debated as some rights owners enforce invalid copyrights with C&D letters). But all other post 1945 British films that had fallen into the US public domain have restored copyright protection.

The only British films that are still subject to flat 50 year copyright terms are crown copyrights, such as government advertising, training films and war propaganda.

British television is subject to a 50 year brodcast copyright but can also be subject of literary and music rights, which are life of author + 70 years, if an author is credited on screen.

This post was modified by Video-Cellar on 2008-06-14 06:45:18

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Poster: 'Aubrey - I am him' Date: Jul 4, 2008 5:34am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: If a british film is PD in the UK, and wasn't copyrighted in the US, Is it ok to upload?

Hello, question to Video-Cellar about Crown Copyrighted British Public Information films. I have a reasonable sized collection of wartime PIF films. I have thought about uploading some of the more interesting ones to the archive in the past. But I have not been too sure about the copyright status. I have taken in what you have said and have come to the same conclusions in the past from looking at the UK Government’s website on Crown Copyright. But last year I contacted the company who looked after the PIF archive (it has now been taken over by the British Film Institute http://www.bfi.org.uk) to ask if I could use a 1940 PIF film for a DVD compilation project for a local museum and they said I still had to pay a (reduced) fee to licence the film. On the other hand some of the archive film DVD compilations I have collected which include films made by other companies clearly state that the films made by the GPO etc. are still copyrighted but there is not mention of the included PIF’s being copyrighted in the sleeve notes.

The other grey area I have found is where the films have been produced in conjunction with an outside company or artist/writers such as E. M. Forster or Dylan Thomas. It seems that these could be covered by standard UK copyright which is shame as these are among the most interesting films.

Anyway if you could help and shed some light on which films would be okay to upload that would be great as it’s about time I gave something back to the archive!